Camp Times

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about the cottage (or as we like to call it – Camp) is so enlightening.

Maybe it’s the carefree relaxing, the lack of work, the mental rest.

Maybe it’s the fresh air, the water, the sunshine.

Maybe it’s the family company, the great food, the constant laughs.

Maybe it’s the memories. Maybe it’s not one thing. Maybe it’s everything.

It’s definitely everything. 

A weeklong stay at my grandparents’ cottage was the perfect way to wind down the summer. Now back to reality I feel a little sad that it’s over, but refreshed and renewed. And tanned, definitely more tanned.

The days were well spent reading, swimming and sauna-ing, eating, visiting and celebrating. My cousin’s wedding topped off the ending of one very lovely week. One is never quite enough, but I had a good fill.

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One of the pluses of an early morning flight – Sunrises like this:

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I dropped the ball on photographing most of this trip. I’ll chalk it up to just enjoying the moments as they happened, with my own two eyes. But that’s a bit of a cop out, I wish I had taken more. Guess that just means I’ll have to go back!

Obviously I couldn’t miss out on capturing early mornings on the dock, though. Lakeside coffee = bliss.

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And we can’t forget “Halloween” on the lake. Trick or treating in boats? Genius. The little monster was all ready for his candy collection (and we slightly older kids may have reaped some of the benefits).

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New baby love kept everyone quite entertained. There is little more adorable than a fresh cooing cousin getting bathed on the deck in a metal basin. Ohemgee. Clearly that is not a metal basin in the picture, but my brother was pretty fond of holding this little munchkin.

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The main event of the trip fell on Friday – Wedding Time! Congrats Craig & Jackie!

They had a perfect day for it. The weather couldn’t have been better.

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A party bus took them around the city for photographs after the ceremony. While the wedding party posed their poses, I let the professionals do their job and instead captured some brilliant surfing parasailers flying through the air and catching the waves. So. Awesome.

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Then it was time to get our Party Rock on. And Party Rock was definitely in the house that night. All. Night. Long.

Last minute touch ups in the hotel room and then it was off to the gala!

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Table 16 was a winner.

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And it was there that we indulged in a menu (aka dancing fuel) of:

Creamy Mushroom Soup

An unidentifiable but tasty salad of asparagus, spring mix, feta, olives (I tried yet again to enjoy one of these but I couldn’t do it. No dice on the olive love) and a creamy dressing. Variation on Greek?

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Chicken stuffed with asparagus and sun dried tomatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.

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A luscious lemon tart with whipped cream, berries and custard…

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And then of course there were the ever-flowing drinks. Let’s not talk about how well that served me the next morning. Open bar + rarely drinking anymore = recipe for disaster.

But it sure was a blast that night. My sparkly dancing shoes were going full force.

And now with a fresh and rested mind, it’s time to use this mental energy to start thinking about some changes that need to be made. Let’s get a move on, Life.

Thanks TBay and my lovely Fam Jam for the great times and memories. Until next time!

Vroom Vroom

How do you jump casually back into a blog that’s been neglected for months at a time, sustained by hardly a bi-yearly crumb?

Just like this…

So it was a weekend. A three-day weekend to be exact. What a deal!
Friday was right about the perfect day to be free of the indoor work world. Warm but fresh temperatures, clear blue skies, wispy, picturesque clouds (aren’t I visual?) – conditions that could only be soaked up properly with a nice long trail walk to start off the day.
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 Post walk “glow” and some al fresco fuelling, then mission #2 of the day – Car shopping.
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Can’t lie… car shopping is a chore! Especially when you’re used to driving decade-old vehicles. Oh my precious clunkers… this whole process has made me a stress ball. Then again, let’s be honest…that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Played with a few photo effects along the country roads while heading to my car browsing destination. Who needs $$$ camera lenses when your point-and-shoot can do the FISH EYE?

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IMG_1790While car browsing, I found myself a cute little peppy ride that I kind of loved and kind of hemmed and hawed over… a lot. Decisions, decisions.

My brain worked hard and all that thinking activity needed some re-energization via Costco’s chicken fajita thin crust pizza (and by thin I mean thin. This was essentially on a tortilla. Fitting with the fajita theme I suppose)  and kale salad.

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The rest of the weekend was a non-threatening and non-destructive whirlwind of working at my “side gig” (Hi Dad :)), gym time, clothes shopping, car test driving, and wearing my vocal cords thin with incessant chatter about car choice pros and cons. I had two final, neck and neck contenders who were both throwing a mighty series of punches. My family is likely already dreading the next time I have to make some moderately large life decision. Sorry fam!
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Naturally there was lots of smoothie action in the long weekend mix. Two protein powders in one shake….living on the wild side.
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So my long weekend came and went, I changed my mind 2074 times, and after many a sleepless night (Okay just one. And it was more like a sleepless hour, but it felt long), I finally purchased a car and finished up the million other steps that went along with it. If all goes well, I should have it pedal to the medalled by tomorrow evening, and I’ll no longer have to drive around fearing that the whole bottom of my car is going to fall out upon every hit pothole.

So why does my chest still feel like it’s being crushed by a large concrete block?! Introducing some kind of mediation routine into my life might not be the worst thing I could do for myself…

This week, I also happened to start a seven day “cleanse” that involves a lot of fruit, vegetables and protein. I’ve done it before and felt great. Not been feeling so great lately, so no time like the present to see what kind of magic bucketloads of nutrients can do again.

That being said, last time I was all about sticking to it to a T. This time I’m much (much) more lax.
Monday was fruit day. So I ate 2x my weight in fruit….
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…and some leftover egg noodles at lunch. And some roasted chicken at dinner. Wait…chicken’s not a fruit?! My mistake…
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Whoever thought starting a cleanse the same week as making a large decision was a good idea (umm…I guess that’d be me) is severely cracked. Chicken becomes fruit, french fries become vegetables (hey, at least they were baked), and little chocolatey balls made of dried fruit and nuts become… shoved down pie hole with reckless abandon.
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But even with chocolate balls, and french fries…and sugary peanut butter…. I’m still eating ridiculous amounts of fresh stuff for the majority of my intake. At least Monday to Wednesday so far.

Drive along and cleanse on!

What’s New in January?

I think I’m about due for one of my two-a-year updates. Welcome 2013!

I could talk about the two main camps of New Years Resolutions – You’re either into them and writing up a whole laundry list of things to accomplish in this brand spankin’ New Year, or you don’t really do the resolution thing and you carry on with your fresh days of 2013 as you would have if they were still a part of 2012.

I don’t think I’ll get into that though. Everyone else has done it enough already. But for the record, I stand more in group #2.

That being said, I do like that fresh feeling a new year brings. Even if I don’t set any specific year-long resolutions to meet. And I did happen to introduce a few new mini challenges and activities to this first month of the new year.

1. SPIN – I had tried it before a couple years ago. Loved it but only tried it on a trial gym membership and that died after a month (21 days, $21!) so… so did my spin experience. Now that I have a real gym membership, I finally brought some spin back into my life a couple weeks ago and am I ever glad I did.

2. DODGEBALL – Oh yes.  A regular 6th grade pro (*cough*…or not), this game all but disappeared from my life well over ten years ago and with my recent joining of a dodgeball team, I’m bringing the skills back! …Now if I could only learn to throw…

3. PCS – Rotating sessions of 100 pushups, crunches or squats every day. I did this successfully a while back. Tried again last month (not quite as successfully) but now I’m in it for the haul!

4. Photo-a-day – As it sounds. One photo, every day. No topics or leading words. Just snapping a photo of something every single day. I’m sure not doing this to portray my glamourous life (especially considering every single photo has been taken in the comfort of my own home, of things directly in front of me – like my water bottle or an awkward figurine of a duck), nor to improve my photography skills (as is evidenced by the photos). It’s more of an exercise in discipline – Can I complete it?

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And, well… I’ve already missed a couple days so if that’s considered a fail then I guess not. But fortunately for ME! the fact that I’ve managed to pull out the camera and take a picture of something non food-related almost every single day so far, especially considering my camera had been on vacation for a long while before this month, is a pass in my books. And this challenge is ruled 100% by my books. Win!

The rest of January’s in-home visuals so far?

Peering at the winter wonderland first thing in the morning.

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Fruit platter in the making.

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Bouquets at breakfast.

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…Beer at breakfast? (Or rather just one of my brother’s many daily beers of Christmas break).

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Christmas florals -poinsettia – as viewed through a tree (Aren’t I artsy).

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The aftermath of my breakfast smoothie – Ninja’dIMG_1733

Black coffee and an article about the makers of Holy Crap! cereal (haven’t tried it yet but I’ve seen it on the shelves and sure am more tempted now). Great little startup!

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This bulb hangs out in my fake bedroom tree year-round. Who said bulbs in trees were Christmas-exclusive?

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My daily dose of apple cider vinegar and gummy multivitamins.

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My keyboard is dazzling.

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As is the decor atop my dresser. I heart glitter.

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My saving grace on the days I work from home in the most ice-frigid room of the house.

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Dinner anyone? (Oops. I was trying to avoid taking food pictures for my photo of the day. But food prep doesn’t count. As I’ve officially ruled right now.)

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My sputtering Blackberry that likes to die on me at random after bare minimal use. New battery currently in the mail. New phone upgrade due… soon? Please?!

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Chugging water all day, ‘er day.

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How the heck am I going to find another two weeks worth of awkward household objects to take pictures of? The real challenge begins…

Adjustments Needed

Disappear. Come back. Disappear. Pop in again. Disappear.

What a pattern…

I miss blogging. Well… writing. 

But every time I start turning back towards it, I quickly sidestep away again.
Fear? Of commitment. Of failure. Of mistakes. Of disappointing. Of disappointment. Of unsuccessful attempts. Of opening up. Of Being?

Of trying to figure out what to be, how to be, who to be.

Maybe the “food blog” thing doesn’t fit to a T anymore. Well, frankly, I don’t think it ever fit to a T per se, but it fit well enough that it could remain one of my semi-regular outfits with a bit of mild tugging and adjusting.

I think, though, that maybe I’ve outgrown that outfit now. Or maybe just for now.

But one way or the other, it just doesn’t feel like it fits anymore. And I think that’s why I struggle with writing. Because I just want to write outside of the box that I originally pigeon-holed this blog into in the first place.

Just write. About nothing. Everything. Whatever. And figure it all out along the way.

I just can’t take picture of all my “meals” anymore. It’s fun once in a while. I’ll probably still do it once in a while. But not everyday. Or every second, or third. Done with that…for right now. (Plus, no iPhone = no Instagram… and that is the newesttrendiest way to food blog, no?)

Time to reach beyond meals and exercise. They mean something, but what else is out there? What else is out there for Me?

It might soon be time to move beyond the ‘Lighter Portions’ walls. New blog box to settle into? Maybe.

Life is full of a whole lot of maybes right now. A whole lot. Probably more maybes (and a whole lot more I don’t knows and what the hecks and help me pleases) than I’ve ever experienced before. Quarter life crisis and GO. Thank you 20s.  You’re terrifying…awesomely full of potential, but still unbelievably terrifying.

And that about sums up the current state of my mind – Random, inconclusive, messy, confused, over analytical and never, ever shutting off.